The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that a snowplow driver’s job qualifies as “critical.” At issue is Dubuque’s 1980 residency requirement that says “critical” city workers have to live in town, or within 6 and-a-half miles of city limits.

John Gotto, who lives seven and-a-half miles outside the edge of the city, didn’t challenge the ordinance itself but said critical workers are police, fire and other first responders. He maintained his job operating heavy equipment qualifies him only as a rank-and-file city worker, and doesn’t require him to live in town.

But the high court, noting the heavy equipment includes the snowplow, notes in today’s ruling that it would be “ironic” to require others to live where they can get to work quickly, and not ask that of the worker who clears the streets for them.